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ITV leads FTSE higher on advertising relief

Broadcaster jumps to top of FTSE 100 amid investor relief fall in advertising revenue has been kept in line with guidance.

 
ITV leads FTSE higher on advertising relief

ITV (ITV) has jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 amid investor relief an anticipated fall in advertising revenues was kept in line with guidance.

Advertising revenues fell 8% in the first half of the year, with earnings falling by the same amount, and the broadcaster guided a further 4% fall in advertising in the third quarter 'impacted by wider economic uncertainty'.

ITV, which this month announced EasyJet's Carolyn McCall would be its first female chief executive when she replaces Adam Crozier in January, further cheered investors by announcing a 2.52p interim dividend, up 5% on last year's payout. The shares rose 3.1% to 181.4p, helping the FTSE 100 to climb 40 points, or 0.5%, to 7,475.

'With net advertising revenue declining across the whole first half in line with guidance, there's room for investor relief, and that is reflected in the stock this morning,' said Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index.

'With the group having circumnavigated a hazardous first half well, under the circumstances, we conclude there's little to dislike on ITV for the rest of the year, though transformations are unlikely.'

Sage (SGE) meanwhile fell to the bottom of the index, down 2.9% at 680p as the accountancy software group announced a $850 million (£652 million) acquisition of US cloud-based financial software company Intact.

Among 'mid-cap' stocks, Paragon (PARA) jumped 5.6% to 431p after the lender reported £575.7 million of new lending in the third quarter.

Joining it at the top of the FTSE 250 were peers Metro Bank (MTRO), up 4.6% at £36.24, OneSavings Bank (OSBO), 2.9% higher at 395.4p and Virgin Money (VM), which added 2.6% to 286.9p.

Acacia Mining (ACAA) continued to languish at the bottom of the index, down 5.9% at 159.1p after news earlier the week the gold miner had been hit by a $190 billion tax bill, more than 200 times its market cap, by the Tanzanian government.

Among 'small-cap' stocks, International Personal Finance (IPF) was the biggest riser, up 7.3% at 188.1p after reporting a £43 million profit for the first half of the year, up from £33 million a year earlier.

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